Ask Kubeir -Interview on the deportation of hundreds of Indian international students that entered on false admission documents

I joined Kubeir to discuss the plight of Indian International Students facing removal because of the use of false documents in their applications. This follows my interview with Rishi Nagar of RedFM Calgary -this time, the discussion was in English. We also chatted about the huge number of individuals in Canada as temporary residents and recent developments with EE and Bill C19. It was a great chat and I’m looking forward to joining Kubeir in the future.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Good morning, Bonjour. Welcome to the channel. My name is Kubeir for everybody who is Fasting Mubarak. I have with me today a very prominent immigration lawyer who is made a name for himself in, in several, several immigration related litigations in terms of admissibility hearings, mis misrepresentations, refugees. And today we are gonna pick his brain with regards to what’s happening with these international students that we are hearing about who have presumably, presumably been given deportation orders because apparently the horse doesn’t, hasn’t heard about them. So let me first bring Raj Sharma on. Hi Raj, welcome to the channel.

Raj Sharma:                       Thank you. Thank you for having me Kubeir.

Kubeir Kamal:                   No, thank you for sparing the time. I, I really appreciate this. So this thing about the deportation, I, I’m sure you’ve heard about it. I’m sure you’ve recently appeared in red, red fm Calgary as well. And similar questions were asked similar things is what you’re gonna talk about today. First of all, is it really 700 international students who have been given these deportation orders already?

Raj Sharma:                       We don’t know. We don’t know if it’s 700. It could be more, it could be less. When I was, when this first started, this started about 2012 and afterwards, is when this sort of started. And, and obviously I interact with C B S A a lot. I used to be an immigration officer here in Calgary. And, and when these investigations started, this was some years ago. So at that time, the number was 1200. Now out of 1200, just simple back of the envelope, math 700 is entirely plausible that it would be Indian nationals. And out of those Indian nationals, it’s entirely possible that Punjab and, and Ariana are going to be up there. So it’s, it’s a plausible number, but it hasn’t been independently verified. So if you look at Nicholas Kung of the, of the Toronto Star or an informed media other than the Indian media, the Indian media seems to have stuck with the 700. If it’s 700 done by one agent out of Jalen at around 20 to 35 LAX per obviously he’s done quite well for himself.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Well, I mean, that was the first question that struck me. I mean, how can one consultant, or I wouldn’t even want to use the word consultant because that brings it back on me. So one agent out there has 700 kind of approvals, and that two in the year, 20 18, 20 19, by law of averages, we know there is no successful formula for study visa. So in order for that agent to get 700, that agents should have filed at least 1400 given the law average.

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah. So, you know, I mean, there’s one name that pops up and in fact, that name I’ve also dealt with. So, and it’s not 2018, 2019, you know, these inadmissibility, you know, [the long arms of CBSA]

But the and the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind fine. You’ll find that this number is, this has been going on since about 20 14, 20 15. So there’s an investigator called James Whittaker. He’s put together this sort of inadmissibility package. And so this is going on. So some of these students are at the tail end of immigration, so whoever’s protesting, they may already have removal orders. They may already have gone through that process. Some have even become permanent residents, some have even married and have Canadian born children and are getting deported right now. In fact, my client is getting deported next month. So this process, if we’re talking about 700, I would say 700 spread over the last six, seven years.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Okay. So this number apparently then seems to be distorted that all 700 have got a deportation order, one fine day as of right now. So that’s probably distorted, is that what you’re saying?

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, that’s right. So this first started with the University of Waterloo. So we have, you know, one of my clients who I actually ended up winning at the admissibility hearing is from Haryana had like a subpar IELTS exam art’s background, came to Canada on a letter of admission indicating that he was admitted to the Masters of Chemical Engineering to the University of Waterloo, which is one of the premier universities in North AmericI’ve been to the University of Alberta, I’ve been to Osgood Hall for my master’s degree. I would imagine that it would be difficult for me to get admission into the University of Waterloo. Waterloo was the beginning. All of a sudden, we have an uptick of approvals from Waterloo. You can imagine why you would want a University of Waterloo admission letter. Officer’s gonna look at it and probably approve it because it’s a premier institution, post-secondary institution. And so that’s where it started from. It started from Waterloo, and then of course, it seeped into all of these other colleges that Punjabi international students in particular seemed to like these small colleges in and around Brampton. So that was the starting point, was Waterloo. And then of course, it, it went from there. So, you know, CBSA and these applicants, these ghost consultants, obviously this individual in Jalandhar, there wasn’t a registered consultant. Why would you register when you can make this much money with no license?

Kubeir Kamal:                   I absolutely agree. I mean, imagine that kind of money in, in, in India. But again, why do we keep coming back to India? I mean, sometimes I, it, it sort of, I, I don’t like that, but I mean, it is what it is, right? Is that only because the number of international students coming off India, out of India are such in huge numbers, and that’s why, and the international students coming out of Punjab are in such big numbers. Is that why we keep coming back to India?

Raj Sharma:                       That’s, that’s part of it. That’s part of it. If you look at you know, hundreds of thousands of international students in Canada right now, let’s say 800,000last year, you’re looking at India as being the top source country at 40% It’s, it’s more than that. So, you know, I teach at the University of Calgary. I teach immigration law there. I teach at Queens University, and I show them this

Kubeir Kamal:                   <Laugh>.

Raj Sharma:                       This is the annotated IRPA. Yes. And if you look at the cases, the cases are right at the front, and you’ll be surprised that a lot of these names are Punjabi. Now they’re Punjabi, and they’re Tamil. Okay. And, and why is that? So part of it is that Punjabi is in, you know, I’m very proud to be from that region as well. Part of it is the reasons that punjabis tend to push the envelope. Okay? You, you’re simply not gonna see someone from Bangalore who’s gonna keep pushing. And, and when you push, you tend to succeed as well. So this is a, this is two sides of the same coin. This is obviously our, our desire to immigrate, our desire to better our circumstances, to to do better for ourselves and our family, and to achieve something at the same time. Sometimes that leads to cutting corners. And, and so it, it, I would say that it’s part of our greatness, but it’s also one of our weaknesses as well. And this is, you know, there’s a reason why Chandigarh visa office was shut down. There’s, we can, we can have another segment just on that <laugh>, it’s a positive and a negative.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Didn’t they sort of conduct a survey sometime back to see how many people actually used ghost consultants or unlicensed, or unauthorized consultants? And apparently the survey said more than 90 whopping percent of people actually used the, those kind of agents and consultants there. So you can imagine, because also what brings me to this understanding is that if there are 700, as per the media 1200, based on what you’ve been discussing, suddenly one fine day, the agent in Gerland couldn’t have filed so many fraud applications, right? He must have come to this number gradually. Like for example, he filed one, he got away with it, then he filed five, then he got away with it, then he filed 10, then he got away with it, and that’s when the numbers basically went up, right? I mean, he couldn’t have done it one fine day and said, okay, lemme put in thousand applications.

Raj Sharma:                       And, and again, that is a sort of aspect of our Punjabi culture as well. Like, if you succeed on 10, let’s do a thousand. I mean, like, if this guy sort of spread it out, he might’ve been able to keep this going for a while. Now what, what had happened? Four students pulled the this move, okay? And so this is how it came to the attention of the authorities.

These students were coming and landing in Ontario. And the scheme was this, well come as students, we don’t study, we’re gonna flip it to an LMIA work permit. It was a janitorial company in Edmonton. There was a consultant in Edmonton, a registered consultant. Students come straight from Ontario, straight to Edmonton, don’t even attend, don’t even go to that school in Ontario. They all tried to flip that to a work permit. All four of them, they’re all living together, in fact. And that’s then that janitorial company became under investigation. Those four becharay actually ended up facing criminal charges under IRPA [Kubeir: becharay?]. Well, four…, look, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a defense lawyer. I’m a litigator. I always have a certain degree of sympathy for my clients, of course. You know, the fragility of the human condition, these are young kids.

These are young kids that were just probably following me. Like, you know, they have, they have an inordinate amount of trust for these agents. And, you know, they, they get some sort of advice and they, they run with it. They got four months in jail, criminal convictions from misrepresentation under IRPA. So remember when we say part of this story is that they’re innocent, that they’re beqasoor, that they’re shocked. I’m shocked to see that my University of Waterloo admission in Masters of Chemical Engineering is fake right there. The, the media portrayals so far is that they’re, they’re bhole to use a Punjabi word, right? That they’re innocent. Now, in immigration, as you, as you likely know, the standard of proof to establish misrepresentation, misrepresentation is broadly worded. But the standard is balance of probabilities, 50 plus one, 51%. “Raj, You know, 51%. Is he, does he know what he’s talking about?

Does he does it?” It’s a, it’s, that’s, that’s the standard to secure a conviction under the criminal code of Canada and the IPA criminal provisions, you need proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That means a prosecutor was able to show that there’s no doubt that these documents are fake, and they knew it was fake. So there’s, there’s only three, there’s only a couple of possibilities. Number one is that they’re truly innocent bhole dupes, right? They’ve been taken advantage of [20, 25 lakhs] they gave to some guy in Jalandhar, and, and they’re innocent and they’re shocked that their agent got them something. You know, that’s one possibility. I suppose the, your other possibility is that they’re willfully blind. Like, okay, we’ll just rely on this guy, and this is that ostrich defense. You put your head in the sand this’s, you know, [inaudible]. There’s that, that hopefully lied. Number three, they were complicit. This is what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna get to Canada. This is the scheme, this is the tarqeeb, this is how we’re gonna get to Canada. Once we get there, we’ll flip to another school, or we’ll flip to a work permit, or we’ll do a refugee claim, or we’ll get married. That, that’s generally the scheme.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Yeah.

Raj Sharma:                       Right? That’s generally the plan. And so these are the three sort of possibilities. Obviously, number two and number three are the much more likely possibilities.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Agree. But now, again, that brings me to the question who do you put the blame on for something of such magnitude? I mean, I’m sure this number 700 has come out of somewhere. And as they say [inaudible]. So in the sense, like there has to be some, some validity to it, some truth to it. Let’s say 700, at least 500 or four hundred.

Raj Sharma:                       I, I have no doubted believing in the 700 number I, and, and in fact it could be higher. It just depends on the timeframe that you want to look at. But in terms of the blame, there was a great article in the Walrus about this sort of international students. This is an industry… Where the students are actually not, not the consumer, the students are the product, alright? And so we have even registered, you know, educational consultants, the schools, the immigration policies that allow for them to get a postgrad work permit and become PRs. The push factors from Punjab -particularly … The pull factors. So, you know, students are one part of this ecosystem. You have agents that are pushing this nonstop. You have colleges that are pushing this nonstop because the international students are subsidizing everything else.

You’ve got immigration policies in Canada as opposed to Australia and New Zealand, UK, which expressly allow for the progression to permanent residence. So, you know, if it’s the blame, I would say there’s lots of blame to go around. But at the end of the day, the applicant is responsible for due diligence. The applicant’s responsible for choosing their agent, the applicant is responsible for the contents of their application. The applicant is you know, responsible for knowing the particulars of, of the immigration process. And they’re gonna be held responsible, and they’re the ones ultimately that are gonna be deported.

RedFM Interview…:         There’s nothing in,

Kubeir Kamal:                   I wanna share with you this,

RedFM Interview…:         There’s nothing in your knowledge so far regarding the deportation of 700.

Minister Sean F…:           We have not yet confirmed that in fact there are deportation notices to 700 students. That’s correct. We need to go and dig into this report to understand whether it’s true and the extent to which students may have been impacted.

RedFM Interview…:         So there’s nothing in your knowledge,

Kubeir Kamal:                   Again, this

RedFM Interview…:         Regarding deportation

Kubeir Kamal:                   Question, you really think Sean Fraser is not aware of what’s going on?

Raj Sharma:                       Well, to be, to be fair to Sean he’s the wrong minister.

Kubeir Kamal:                   <Laugh>,

Raj Sharma:                       He’s IRCC, right?

Kubeir Kamal:                   Yes, yes. But wouldn’t he, I mean yes, he’s I R C C, but doesn’t this come under the larger purview of how did this happen in the first place?

Raj Sharma:                       Removal orders are C B S A largely more or less CBSA is responsible. CBSA can a answer those questions. The, the investigation was a C B S A investigator, James Whitaker. The hearings officers are C B S A. I mean but yeah, of course, I mean, as you well know, I, RCC is one of the most studied and statistics driven department in Canada. So of course the numbers will be there. Again, 700 is a number that has more or less been plucked. There’s no, there’s no independent verification of 700. It could be more, could less. But bear in mind, Sean Fraser has a lot of other things on his mind right now, including hundreds of thousands of backlogs, including you know, revamping our immigration systems… So 700 students that have come here on false documents is probably not very high on his priority list or his daily…

Kubeir Kamal:                   Why? Why, why wouldn’t that be? Because okay, again, let’s, let’s take take

Raj Sharma:                       It’s a fraction. It’s a fraction of a fraction.

Kubeir Kamal:                   No, no, I understand. I get that. It’s a fraction of a fraction amongst 600,000 international students, just 700 going through whatever. No, no. My my my point is, if we go to the root of it, the first application was made to I r ccc, right? In that application contained a document, which is obviously a fraudulent document. Now, I, I, I know New Del’s office has a very good, strong and very well really sourced anti-fraud prevention unit. Alright? Now, this fraud prevention unit, and now apparently they are using some extremely good technology as well to identify different kind of documentation and different kind of, I mean, all, all kinds of things are happening there. But this is, again, some year, some years back, and even then the fraud fraud prevention unit was in existence and, and knew about a lot of these things that are happening. So as part of an application assessment, do they not verify at all if the document that has been provided, especially the acceptance letter is genuine or not? Especially if you’re saying that this has been happening since 12 20, 12 20 14,

Raj Sharma:                       It’s entirely possible that that kind of money may well give you access within the consulate itself.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Oh, okay. <Laugh>. Now that is something I mean that crossed my mind, but I didn’t want to sort of say that, but, so that’s the reason

Raj Sharma:                       I’m saying that’s the reason why Chandigarh was shut down? And again, they, they don’t publicize this, they don’t publicize when they shut a visa office down. But, and, and usually it happens with locally engaged staff, but you know, that that is one possibility. The other possibility is just volume. I mean, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s Hanlon’s razor. Hanlan’s razor is never ascribed to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. You have pure volume here. An officer is, there’s a lot of pressure on the temporary the TR unit, the temporary resident unit of of, of Delhi. And so you’ve got massive pressure to move these things out. An officer looks at a University of Waterloo admission, you know, if, if immigration verified every single document, our system would grind to a halt. There has, this is why misrepresentation is construed broadly.

It’s construed broadly because we’re trusting that the applicant will provide the relevant information. And, and there has to be a degree of trust. Because otherwise, if you verify everything, it is gonna shut down. We can verify IELTS, we can, those guys can now verify Indian income tax returns as well, which is amazing. Yeah. there’s a massive amount of verification. Now, you’re right. How did so many slip through? One possibility is do they have access that’s happened before? I’m not saying anything controversial. I used to be an officer. These things happen. If you think it doesn’t happen, then, you know, you gotta, that’s a Pollyanna-ish view of, of reality, you know, but, but in terms of, is it, can we, can these, can these students put the blame on the officers? Like, oh, okay, my fraud wasn’t detected. You guys let me in and therefore I should benefit from that, or therefore that’s some sort of excuse or a shield. I don’t,

Kubeir Kamal:                   No, no, no, no. I’m absolutely not trying to shift the blame and saying that let the students go because the blame is icc. Not at all. I mean, you’ve said that before, that as a taxpayer in this country and, and being a citizen, the government owes it to us to run a tight unit, which is as you said integrity should be very high. And, and you should be able to trust the system that nobody can get away with

Raj Sharma:                       It. The sad part is that this means that there’s going to be more verification, more scrutiny of Indian Nationals. So now what you’re going to see is that the, the very, the bonafide student with the 6.57 point zero IELTS score, whose first class standing from Punjabi University, that person is gonna be refused because of these concerns being raised because that this is a hotbed of, of fraud or false documents.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Okay. Alright. Let’s put that aside for a minute. Let, let’s talk about, so what happens to these students? Do they have any shot at it at all, or it’s close and shut for them?

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, there is a shot. And, and in fact, I, I’ve won these sort of cases before. So the step one, so let’s talk about the various profiles. Someone comes in as a student, tries to flip to another college, you know, does so successfully, graduates post-grad work permit applies for A P N P gets even pr

Kubeir Kamal:                   Yeah.

Raj Sharma:                       If they find [out] after they’re a permanent resident, then the process is that there’ll be a section 44 report alleging misrepresentation. You entered on a false document. That report is referred, sometimes it’s not referred, it’s — get a lawyer, quickly, get a someone who knows what they’re doing so that you can maybe ask the officer, don’t refer it. If the report is written/referred to the immigration division, there’s a admissibility hearing. The minister has to prove the case. The minister will present a package. So far it’s been James Whitaker who’s been leading up this investigation. There’ll be a letter from an, a statutory declaration from the university or the institution indicating that this person never attended, this person, never sought, had admission. That hearing there may be testimony, there may not be testimony, then there’s gonna be a removal order or not a removal order. I was able to succeed here. You can, you can present the innocent misrepresentation defense here. If they’re a permanent resident, they can appeal that to the Immigration Appeal Division and argue that they’re sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds for them to remain in Canada. So that’s one possibility.

Kubeir Kamal:                   So for all these guys who are now saying that they were called in by C B S A, they,

Raj Sharma:                       Most of them are not, most of them are not permanent residents. They’re still international students or they have work permit. They don’t

Kubeir Kamal:                   Have the IAD, right? Right. Don’t

Raj Sharma:                       Have the IAD. Yeah.

Kubeir Kamal:                   And so they have been al already being given exclusion orders. So if they already have an exclusion order, which primarily for, for people who don’t understand, is basically leave the country deportation, right? What, do they still have a chance? Will JR. Or a judicial review for people who don’t understand, would that get them any relief at all?

Raj Sharma:                       Judicial review is about a [na-jayaz] decision. It’s about an unreasonable decision. It’s about like, is there any <deficiency>, is there any problem with the decision below? Yeah. Did, did they look at something they’re not supposed to look at? Did they not look at something that they were supposed to look at? And so usually it’s an open and shut case. Sometimes we can succeed with a minister makes a mistake. And that’s what happened in one of my cases. Remember one thing, a lot of people think that marrying a Canadian or permanent resident will solve their problem. An in Canada, spousal sponsorship does not overcome an exclusion order based on misrepresentation.

Kubeir Kamal:                   I agree with you, but I know some Tik Tokers who have been making these videos and saying, Hey, get married to somebody and you’ll be out of this. My

Raj Sharma:                       Client was married, had kids is leaving next month because his consultant, this one that got suspended out in Quebec, actually quite, you know, notorious filed in Canada, spousal sponsorship, assured him everything will be fine. But S C L P only covers off, you know, non-compliance, let’s say, you know, removal orders emanating out of Section 41 of the act, not, you know, all of these other grounds. So it, they don’t have a lot of options, I suppose, a humanitarian compassion application. But those Indian passports are valid for like 10 years. So by the time that H&C is assessed, they’re gone.

Kubeir Kamal:                   And as a foreign national, though, the charters sort of says everybody’s equal in such situation where there’s such a strong misrepresentation, strong one. And obviously, which can be proved without doubt at least I don’t think there is much happening there. But a lot of them are consulting. I, I know there is a member of Parliament who has been you know, supporting them collectively. I know there’s a lot of media sympathy with them. Does any of this help?

Raj Sharma:                       The media profile so far is at odds with the cases that we have it, it’s at odds with the criminal convictions that have been laid, sought, and obtained against them. So the media pro profile and, and this, these calls for sympathetic consideration are at odds with the actual facts. The actual facts are that they’ve paid somewhere between 20 to 35 lakhs to a ghost consultant that they’ve come to Canada using false documents, demonstrably false documents. They’ve signed off on these applications indicating that they reviewed everything and everything is true, complete and correct. And once they come here, none of them attend the school that they got admission to. None of them, they don’t attend, they don’t visit …very often they leave that province within three days of arrival. And then very quickly, they either try to, you know, adjust their status in a different way. So the media portrayal is quite a bit at odds with the fact patterns that CBS A is, is seeking. I’m not sure, you know, media attention sometimes helps for individual cases, media attention in this case where you are indicating that there’s been widespread fraud, widespread undermining of the integrity of the immigration system by one particular ethnic group or linguistic group is I think not a great idea.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Well, I, I agree with you and I, I feel really, really sad that a lot of people, I mean, it’s, let’s say if it’s 700 people, it’s not just 700 individuals, it’s 700 families. I mean, if they’re married, their wives, their children, their parents back home, and all the network that they’ve established. So yeah, it sucks what has happened, but I guess the law will prevail in what they do. Now, taking you away from this question, and let’s talk about something totally, totally different. First things and I’m sure you’d read a lot of data statistics because part of what you do also involves understanding what that would be. In my opinion i, I think at this point of time, there are more than 1.2 million temporary residents in Canada and counting. Add to that, the number of Ukrainians under the CO A t who are being coming in and the people who obviously being given work permits, et cetera, that number will very soon cross 1.5 million temporary residents in Canada against the annual immigration target for this year. 4 84 65. 4 85, then going up to half a million this imbalance. Where do you see this heading?

Raj Sharma:                       Perhaps an amnesty

Kubeir Kamal:                   For 1.5 million people?

Raj Sharma:                       Amnesty could be broad or it could be limited. I mean, you know, I remember I wrote an article or I presented a paper to the CBA about the start of the irb. And it’s remarkable how, you know, if you’re, if you’re in a particular industry long enough, what’s old is new again,

Kubeir Kamal:                   <Laugh>.

Raj Sharma:                       So my father came to Canada in 19 70, 19 71. He was a lecturer at Punjabi University, and he came here. It was a skilled, the point system at that time passed a language test you know, still remembers the one word he got wrong. He didn’t know the definition of sedan… Probably because he was only in a couple of cars before he came here.. But, you know, two of my uncles, their status was adjusted in 19 73, 19 74, under a waiver program at that time, a regularization program. So what happened is that there was no visa on Indian nationals at that time. So plane loads of, you know, Punjabis were coming to Canada, and obviously the system couldn’t handle it. A backlog was created and an amnesty was sort of announced and promulgated and executed.. There’s been limited amnesties and waivers after that. People think that that doesn’t happen, but it, it has happened. It happened in the eighties as well. So there could be an amnesty, whether general or specific. There could be a lot of political blowback for something like that, but you know, at a certain point the system simply cannot handle.

Kubeir Kamal:                   But the numbers are just, just too, just too huge. And, and to think of an amnesty wouldn’t then that further encourage more people to get into Canada and then overstay illegally and stuff.

Raj Sharma:                       Absolutely. All of those arguments are valid. All of them are valid at, you know, you have to, but how do you address that? This is not a, this is not just us, it’s the Americans as well. But, you know, at a certain point or, or you’ll just have to expand regularization, through the economic process. I mean, I’ve commented on this as well, like, you know, it’s very, very unfortunate. Like these students were not hitting you know, my clients are not hitting these CRS scores and, and how can they, I mean, if they come to Canada after a plus two in India, and you get a two year diploma and you get like one year skilled work experience, even if it’s skilled, I mean, what do you got? You’re not hitting those points. And you know, my, a lot of my clients aren’t hitting those [IELTS] sevens and eights that you really need to supercharge those scores.

Kubeir Kamal:                   So is Sean Fraser’s new tool Bill C 19? And I know you know a little bit about it. I mean, not as, I mean, I’ve been talking about it for the last, I don’t know, eight months now, ever since it was first tabled in the parliament. But that tool independently gives the minister the authority to identify categories and then invite people within those categories based on the CRS scores. Now, do you think that amnesty tool, it won’t be amnesty because people will still be on their merit based on the score. Do you think that is the way forward that they’re trying to go? But again, cause the numbers are not adding up, the economic, as you very well know, is less than 300,000.

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, I think, I think the situation is, is, is this again, what’s old has become new again. So in the seventies and eighties, thisthis ministry wasn’t called ministry, you know, citizenship and Immigration Canada or immigration, refugee citizenship in, Canada. It was it was called the department of Employment and Immigration.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Okay?

Raj Sharma:                       And that’s back then, immigration was directly tied into labor and the labor needs of Canada. And it was a far greater, you know, use of, it looks like we’re going down that path again. It looks like we’re going down that path of, you know, immigration as as a tool to address whether demographics or labor specific occupations. Yes. This, again, we’re going back to what, 2010, 2011 that the designated occupations list around Kenney’s time. Yeah, I, I I think that makes sense. I think that designated occupations or groups should be identified and they should be prioritized and they should be fast tracked. That that makes sense. Any country should do that. If we need truck drivers, okay, let’s do a blitz of truck drivers for the next six months. All right? We need nurses. Let’s do a blitz of people already here of people already here

Kubeir Kamal:                   No, absolutely sure.

Raj Sharma:                       You do that for overseas. They’ll just, you know, all of a sudden we’ll have job letters from like Mansa that this person is you know, in a particular, you know, health occupation or whatever. But I, I think what you really have to do is you have to expand and you really have to prioritize individuals already in Canada that have studied here, that have that are working here. That’s, you have to prioritize that. I don’t know where that leaves the FSWs. I’m sure people are not gonna be happy with my comments, but I, I don’t see how the numbers can work any other way. I think what you do is you put a freeze on F S T F S W perhaps, and you just concentrate on everyone that’s here. And you might be able to work through them in a couple years. And, and that’s why, by the way, that’s why Sean is is extending the PGWP again, right? A bandaid solution. A bandaid.

Kubeir Kamal:                   It is, it is a bandaid solution. And I’m not sure in the long run how it helps everybody collectively. I mean, it’s great that the, the, the students have another opportunity to sort of regularize their status and obviously find some employment, hopefully get through a p and p. But by and large, the numbers, it’s, it’s not adding up and the number of spots available is not adding up. And

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, we welcomed over a million people last year. And so now people, you are now gonna see some pushback from public opinion, because what’s gonna happen is that those house prizes are just simply not gonna come down. Those inflationary numbers are still gonna be there, there could be a downward pressure on the labor market, on the prevailing wage rate. If, you know, if some 45 year old Canadian laborer or truck driver or is competing against some 25 year old Punjabi, he’s not gonna like it. He’s not gonna like it.

Kubeir Kamal:                   That’s, that’s, that’s the problem that, that I’ve been trying to sort of figure my head around very recently. Sean Fraser, I mean, this was obviously when he was appointed as a, as an immigration minister, as per his mandate letter, there was one aspect which included the fact that he should create more pathways within express entry for international students and foreign workers. And I’m sure Bill C 19 is progressing towards that. That obviously puts a lot of FSWs at a tight spot. But what, again, I’m not sure what’s happening. I’m, I’m, I also know, I’m not sure if that is your area where you practice or you, you, you sort of, you know, are more familiar with. But I R C C is playing a start stop game with express entry. They paused after the tier fiasco happened, then they conducted two big draws, 5,005, 500 each in January. Then again, they went silent again. Suddenly they woke up and they create, they, they announced two new drones, again, back to back 7,000, 7,000 each. And I’m understanding that again, there is a big bit of a technical glitch because everybody who should have received an idea hasn’t received one yet, creating a lot of panic. This inconsistency puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people, whether they’re inside Canada or outside Canada, because nobody has any faith on how the system is gonna work anymore.

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, there’s, there’s certainly no, there’s not a lot of certainty before. And again, you know, let’s, let’s talk about pre 2012. There’s a pass failed cec

Kubeir Kamal:                   Yep.

Raj Sharma:                       6.0 and one year skilled work experience and welcome to Canada. So I, I don’t know, it may require some imaginative scenarios that one, one perspective perhaps create some sort of like secondary PR status, right? Pr but not quite pr, right? Maybe one, one level above work permits, maybe some sort of indeterminate status and then permanent resident status after that, and then citizenship after that. Again, something that the UK has done. So maybe you go into some sort of indeterminate status that allows work and travel in Canada.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Would charter allow that?

Raj Sharma:                       Sure, sure. Absolutely. I mean, like it’s, you’re giving them a benefit. I mean, you’ll just have to revamp eligibility, right? But I mean, I think it’s, it’s not fair. I mean, the Kuwait, the Emirates, these Gulf states, they use laborers like Kleenex, <laugh> use them and, and, and dispose them. I don’t, I don’t want to go down that path. I think that’s morally wrong. I think someone that works here. That pays taxes here has, has, should have access to social services, should have access to healthcare. Obviously they’re contributing to the system and should have some sort of understanding that they have, you know, more than just temporary foreign worker status in Canada. So if someone have been here for like, let’s say three years working and paying taxes, I don’t know, give them an open work permit, give them like a multi visa like, you know, for the next five years. And then hopefully they can navigate the permanent resident labyrinth or maze in those years. Maybe, maybe that’s what you do. And then that way you can take the pressure off these people trying to navigate these LMIAs …paying for LMIAs. Let’s not, let’s not go into there

Kubeir Kamal:                   That let’s <laugh>.

Raj Sharma:                       So I mean like, I dunno, maybe, maybe they give them inter indeterminate status. Someone’s been working here for two years and paying taxes. Someone who’s making more than 35 grand a year, give them indeterminate status.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Is it ambitious to expect and hope for another PR to PR kind of a program? Sort of, you know, have a, a blanket program because there are so many international students and foreign workers, most of them have had the fag, end of the covid pandemic. You

Raj Sharma:                       Know, Kubeir was like, I’ve said this on, on, on the radio before, it’s like, I’m a pundit but not a jyotshi and

Kubeir Kamal:                   <Laugh>,

Raj Sharma:                       You know, they, they, the budget includes a TR to PR pathway last, the budget itself included it. So I was predicting the use of the TR to PR pathway in the first quarter of this year. Obviously I was wrong. But that seems, you know, the problem with common sense is it’s not that common. I was expecting the TR to PR pathway to make an appearance this year.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Okay. But then again, talking about Sean, he’s indicated he does not seet to pr the way it has happened come back into effect. But something more like the C 19 where they can choose Yeah. Specific categories and only bring them in.

Raj Sharma:                       Yeah, I don’t see that either. And, and again, like the TR to PR pathway was reminiscent of the family class a couple of years ago. Some sort of like Black Friday, Walmart, like, you know, door crash or sale sale, like in 24 hours we have the international students slots sort of filled. Yeah, I don’t like, I think that’s a joke as well. I think that’s it. It should be logical. Everyone should know the criteria. Well before, I mean, you know, we had people with their IETLS that are that expired. Yeah. And they’re running around in the middle of a pandemic trying to get an IELTS done. Yeah, I mean, what about common sense? Why can’t we extend IELTS squirrel? How come eyelets expires in two years? <Laugh> one of my, one of my staff members is doing the IELTS for the third time. I think she came as a student, then she applied for, you know, pr now she’s getting into like the University of Calgary or something. Like what is this like once you’re in Canada and working or studying those IELTS score they shouldn’t, shouldn’t expire.

Kubeir Kamal:                   They should, well, they work for citizenship application for some reason. They don’t work for PR applications.

Raj Sharma:                       I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say. Kubeir.

Kubeir Kamal:                   <Laugh>. Well, I mean, I I I love chatting with you, Raj, and I’m sure we’ll do this again. But before I let you go, any part in comments, especially of what’s happening with the international students, I know they’re really stressed out.

Raj Sharma:                       No, I mean, Kubeir, thank you so much for what you do. I think, you know, getting the right advice out is very, very important. And I, and I can’t emphasize this enough. I, I know the nature sometimes or nature is militates against this, but applicants must do due diligence. You must know the requirements of your application. You must know the contents of your application. You must review any application that you sign or electronically signed. You must know and do some due diligence in terms of your representative. I don’t think it’s any excuse in 2023 to say, to use a, you know, a ghost consultant, someone that’s not registered with the government of Canada, some that’s not a member of a provincial bar. Due diligence is very important because, you know, it might be easy now, but when you are facing deportation eight years after entry to Canada after your marriage, after two kids that are under four, then you wish you would’ve done your due diligence because you’re, you know, at, at CSBA and Inadmissibility and Enforcement, this is a cat and mouse game.

And so the first hundred people will get through, everything’s fine. And they’ll encourage their pe their friends, they’ll be like, yeah, yeah, this is how it’s done. And then all of a sudden, CBSA will adapt and then you’ll see the next 300 people get deported. And I want people to understand, like you have all these Facebook videos of agents handing out visas, like mitthai or whatever on these videos. But this is called survivorship bias. Survivorship bias is the person who survives, the person who succeeds talks. Okay. Yeah. And the person who fails or gets deported [is silent]

Kubeir Kamal:                   The dead and gone,

Raj Sharma:                       He’s quiet. All right? Yeah. So just, just hang tight and, you know, do things properly. Cross the ts, dot the i’s because this is no way to live with the sword of Damocles over your head this way for years and years and years.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Absolutely. I

Raj Sharma:                       Agree. Thanks. thanks for having me on

Kubeir Kamal:                   Kubeir as a pleasure. Thank you. Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate it. Definitely. We’ll, we’ll both sort of have you back here again so we can chat this. Cause I love doing that. Thank you so much.

Raj Sharma:                       My pleasure. Thank you very much.

Kubeir Kamal:                   Well that was Raj Sharma. Great advice there. Dot your, I cross your Ts because you never know what’s gonna happen around the corner if you haven’t been diligent with your application. On that note, I have a small announcement to make because we are launching our education students portal because that is something that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. But based on what has been happening, I guess it’s about time. So what we are trying to do now is for international students who are applying for the first time below the age of 25, we have decided to absolutely go and offer them our services for a very, very nominal amount of 200 or $300. So that way you are dealing with a license consultant, you’re dealing with the absolutely legit documentation. You will get your offer letters from the college, you will have the access to the college and the portal and everything that the document that have been submitted in an application. That way you do not have to pay any hefta fees. You do not have to fall into any fraudulent hands. And so watch out for that one. We will be launching it next week. And this has been great. Thank you so much for joining in. I shall catch you tomorrow for our weekly roundup. Stay tuned for that one. Take care. And I shall see you tomorrow.